Indiana Notes Increased Reporting of Medical Errors

The number of serious medical errors reported in Indiana during 2006 was 72, which increased to 101 in 2007. This information was detailed in a report released by state officials. The increase noted was almost twenty-five percent.

The most common serious medical error during 2007 was the same as the previous year, development of advanced stage pressure sores. In addition, there were 24 cases of objects being left inside a patient following surgery. Wrong-site surgeries more than doubled from 2006 to 2007.

The increased rate of errors is what the State was hoping for, according to the Indiana Patient Safety Center. The state implemented a program to encourage healthcare providers to report errors, rather than worry about retribution.

The State implemented the new program beginning in 2006, following a model developed in Minnesota. The program requires that 27 different hospitals report serious medical errors. As well, Indiana recently launched a collaborative program to reduce the incidence of pressure ulcers.

The News Sentinel reported this information. The efforts of both Minnesota and Indiana were recognized as approaches which may significantly reduce the incidence of errors. By identifying problems in the system which may lead to errors, those can then be addressed.

It is also supposed that hospitals will be more likely to be proactive about errors if the public is aware of safety issues. If facilities develop a reputation for a large incidence of errors, patients will prefer treatment at other facilities.

August 29, 2008 Related topics: Quality, Safety, Errors

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